Friday, May 21, 2010

Are you Fabio or Fabulous?

We've just designed the artwork for fashion retailer, New Look's, 'FABIO OR FABULOUS', fun new Facebook promo for the World Cup.

New Look is asking its 150,000 Facebook fans whether their allegiances lie with football or fashion, and depending on their choice they can download and wear a mask of either England football manager Fabio Capello or US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour.

Fans then upload pictures of themselves wearing their masks to New Look's Facebook page, and then the best, silliest or most fun will win prizes and gift cards weekly throughout the World Cup season.

More info on the fun here, and if you want to get going and pick allegiances yourself, you can click on the links below to print off your cutout and keep mask!

For Fabio Capello:

For Fabulous Anna Wintour:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

UK iPad App store opens for business

British iPad owners and soon-to-be owners can rejoice – Apple has finally switched on its iPad App Store in the UK, which means that users can now purchase apps directly, rather than via a US iTunes account.

Apple has confirmed that countries including UK, Belgium, Spain, Israel, France, the Philippines and New Zealand can now access the App Store, according to TechCrunch.

iPaddies will still be unable to buy an iBook or iWork app outside Apple’s US homeland. But from today they will be able to log on to the store, using their UK iTunes account, and download apps from the likes of the Financial Times, Marvel Comics and Wall Street Journal.

Source: The Wall

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wenlock & Mandeville: London's Olympic mascots

After the design community's reaction to the London 2012 logo, the mascot was always going to be a difficult job. But UK agency Iris has just unveiled not one, but two characters for the Olympic and Paralympic Games: Wenlock and Mandeville. Both are clearly of the digital age and will be used over various social media, websites, animations, YouTube and Twitter etc (yes, both Wenlock and Mandeville already have Twitter feeds).

As Nick Asbury perceptively pointed out, what do two slick, glossy, near-identical characters claiming to represent the nation... one blue, one yellow.... remind you of?

Source: Creative Review

Some people are saying Steve Jobs stole the iPad from Bill Gates?

Make up your mind by watching the following video, dated back to 30 May 2007, several month before Jobs launched the iPhone…

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Facebook Breaks 500 Million Users

Facebook has just hit another major milestone; half a billion visitors for the month of April. These numbers come courtesy of ComScore and represent the first time Facebook's numbers have reached this high. Google, by comparison, showed 921 million visitors for the same span of time.

The search giant still has a commanding lead, but this news makes it clear that Facebook is well on their way to catching up.


If you fancy owning any one of those gorgeous elephants that are dotted all over London...'s where you place your bid

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nike Rooney 'What If' spoof. Funny thing is you can imagine it happening...

Nike has released a teaser for an ad which shows what might happen if England Striker Wayne Rooney makes a crucial mistake during this summer's World Cup.

The full ad, called 'Write The Future', launches on Saturday (22 May) and shows French footballer Frank Ribery intercepting a pass by Rooney to fellow England striker Theo Walcott in the last few minutes of a World Cup game against France.

This is the first teaser of "a handful". The global launch of the full ad is at 6pm on Thursday on Facebook ahead of the TV launch on Saturday.

Let's just hope it doesn't come true!

Source: Brand Republic

It's hard to believe these illustrations were created on an iPhone...

...but this guy manages to create one a day and uploads them to his blog daily. The wonderful images are created using the Sketchbook Mobile or Brushes Apps, and the artist, Kristofer Strom, says "I started drawing these on the bus to and from my studio and thought, 'hey, why not try doing at least one illustration each day?'," he says. "It's very relaxing. Put on some good music and just start drawing."

Source: Creative Review

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photoshop Competition - Simples! has got Photoshop experts turning our favourite meerkat, Aleksandr Orlov, into some of the world's most famous faces.

From a ‘Meercasso’ to the Mona Lisa to the Pope, here are some of my favourite manipulations.

The full roll call of entries can be viewed here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Google Job Experiment - it worked!

A fabulous example of how to stand out from the crowd when job-hunting: Alec Brownstein is a copywriter and was looking for a job at a cool agency. As many people do, he used Google, but not like you would think. See the result:

Alec Brownstein bought Google ad words for the creative directors’ names, which cost him $6: “No one else was bidding on (the names), so I got the top spot for like 10 cents a click.”

This got him interviews with everyone except Granger. Reichenthal and Vitrone are both at Y&R NY and the rest is history.


Banksy Takes On the Colonel

Time has just selected Banksy as one of the year's most influential people, just one ahead of Susan Boyle!

Anyway the famous British graffiti artist has cheekily twitted Colonel Sanders, the face of Kentucky Fried Cruelty. and it looks like he's standing with the chickens who are raised in reportedly abominable conditions to supply KFC's restaurants.

Nice work Banksy.

Source: Peta

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Facebook introduces World Cup passion index

Facebook has launched a World Cup index which allows global football fans to rank national teams.

The ‘Goal!' leaderboard, found on the Sports on Facebook Page, connects fans by allowing them to show their support of a national team.

Users can ‘like' their favourite teams, publish a news feed story, recommend a team to their friends and invite friends who are not on the social networking site to support a team.

Facebook will track and rank teams based on a "Passion Index", which is a measure of a team's total number of "Likes" divided by the internet population of the country it represents.

Chile currently lies top of the leaderboard, with current world champions Italy in 6th place and England in 15th. European champions Spain lie one place ahead of England in 14th.

Source: Brand Republic

GQ for the men, Vanity Fair for the women: Magazine issues come to the iPad

So maybe the promo for the GQ app is a bit silly with its suggestions that you swipe, tap, and flip like a man, but the magazine actually looks rather nice on an iPad (according to the reviewers at Gizmodo), and with both mags, behind-the-scenes videos are included with editorial features, like football players messing about during an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot for the World Cup, and Emma Watson getting made up for her photography session.

Both apps (by Condé Nast) work in horizontal and in vertical mode. When you hold the iPad vertically, you get the digital interpretation of the magazine. That means a split screen with images at the top and text at the bottom.

The app “remembers” where someone left off reading, even if the person turns off the iPad and calls up text from that spot, and a navigation bar across the bottom and on the upper left directs the person to specific stories.

Vanity Fair brought in six advertisers to design ads unique to the iPad — these are the only ads that show up in the vertical mode — and charged other advertisers a nominal fee to include links in their ads,.

There are still unresolved questions about the iPad for publishers. Vanity Fair knows the name and address of everyone who subscribes to its magazines, but it cannot get that data from Apple about iTunes buyers. That’s one reason the magazine industry is working on its own 'digital newsstand', so it can control the consumer relationship. For now, the app does not allow people to copy or share articles or portions of articles.

You can purchase individual magazine issues—including back issues—through the app, via iTunes, for the same price as paper copies.

Source: NY Times

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

David Hockney has started 'painting' on an iPad in preference to paper

Looks like Hockney doesn’t agree with Bill Gates that tablets need a stylus. In fact, he’s a confirmed iPad fan. He works with the iPhone/iPad App 'Brushes', using his fingers to “paint” directly onto the iPad screen to create digi-art which he sends out as emails.

The iPad is the newest example of Hockney's experimental streak; cameras, faxes, printers, and mirrors, as well as the more conventional oil, watercolour and pencil have all been used. And in the last year he has created many paintings on his iPhone.

Speaking to the Evening Standard about his iPad, Hockney said: “The iPad is far more subtle, in fact it really is like a drawing pad. They will sell by the million. It will change the way we look at everything from reading newspapers to the drawing pad.”

In fact, Hockney’s love of the iPad is so extreme, it almost sounds like he’s auditioning to takeover from Steve Jobs at the next keynote: “It can be anything you want it to be. This is the nearest we have got to seeing what I would call a universal machine.”

Last year he started doing pictures on his iPhone, stating: ""BlackBerries are for secretaries and clerical workers while the iPhone is used by artistic people".

A fascinating and awesome video of social media stats

And here are the stats mentioned in the video:

- Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30-years-old

- 96% of them have joined a social network

- Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.

- Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web

- 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media

- Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…

- Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year

- iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.

- We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”

- If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest ahead of the United States and only behind China and India

- 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction

- 80% of companies use social media for recruitment; % of these using LinkedIn 95%

- The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females

- Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the populations of Ireland, Norway, or Panama.

- 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?

- Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé – some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts

- Instead they are distributing: eReaders + iPads + Tablets

- What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…

- The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube

- While you watch this 100+ hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube

- Wikipedia has over 15 million articles…studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English

- There are over 200,000,000 Blogs

- Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth

- If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour

- 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content

- 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands

- Do you like what they are saying about your brand? You better.

- People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them

- 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations

- Only 14% trust advertisements

- Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI

- 90% of people that can TiVo ads do

- Kindle eBooks Outsold Paper Books on Christmas

- 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation

- 60 millions status updates happen on Facebook daily

- We no longer search for the news, the news finds us.

- We will non longer search for products and services, they will find us via social media

- Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate

- Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like Mad Men Listening first, selling second

- The ROI of social media is that your business will still exist in 5 years

- Bonus: comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month – is the #1 social network

Source: Socialnomics Social Media Blog

The Sistine Chapel in all it's Gigapixel glory

Click here to see what I'm talkin' about.

Thanks to The Cool Hunter for pointing me to this one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The iWatch

No pre-order date on this I'm afraid. It exists only in the world of Photoshop on

You can see the iWatch designer's gallery of images here.

Some questions can’t be answered by Google

Source: Truly Deeply. Photo by Mykl Roventine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Adam Boulton stops short of fighting Alastair Campbell live on Sky News: Brilliant TV!

Brits can pre-order iPads from UK Apple Store from today!

Pre-order here. Orders will be shipped on May 28th.

Apple-buffs from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland can also pre-order the iPad from today.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Google vs. Foursquare: Geolocation Battle Heats Up

Apparently informing your friends that you're eating a turkey sandwich at the deli down the street is the most "interesting" fad of the moment, and Google wants the biggest slice of cake. At the Web 2.0 Expo, Google indicated it would be enhancing its Latitude service to give other location-based time-wasters - like Foursquare - a run for their money. And now that Facebook has teamed up with McDonald's to launch a similar tracking system, the battle has begun to create the most stalkeriffic app.

Google Latitude was launched early last year and has since harvested 3 million users, but has gone largely forgotten. Three million is a hefty number, but it's worth mentioning that a quarter of Latitude users have zero friends, meaning nobody gives a flying hoot where you're at. Foursquare, on the other hand, boasts 1 million users, and after Yahoo's failed attempt at purchasing the app from creator Dennis Crowley for over $100 million, Foursquare has stolen the public's attention.

Google wants to change all that. Stealing a page from Foursquare's book, an enhanced Latitude would have a check-in feature and a bolstered location history scheme. And since nobody can match Google's grip on map data, Latitude would automatically add locations, whereas Foursquare requires user input.

But Latitude's biggest hurdle toward mass-popularity is the iPhone. Google built a Latitude app, but Apple -- who essentially hates Google -- rejected it from the App Store. The other gladiators, like the 2-million-strong MyTown, have been welcomed into Apple's arms, painting Latitude the wallflower.

If you, like many, really care about turkey sandwiches, Latitude's evolution is one to watch. Otherwise you can entertain yourself with good old fashioned restraining orders.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Apple reveals UK iPad prices

Apple has revealed that the iPad, which will go on sale in the UK on 28 May, will cost £429 for the basic version all the way up to £699 for the top of the range 64GB device with both Wi-Fi and 3G network access.

Apple will open its website for pre-orders of the iPad from Monday next week. Alongside the UK, the device will also be available on 28 May in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland.

In the past, Apple has come in for criticism for the difference between the prices of its products in Europe compared with the US. In the US the basic iPad costs $499, which at the current pound-dollar exchange rate is £338. Apple points out that there are different, and higher, taxes in Europe – the prices it is quoting include VAT – as well as increased transport and other costs.

Apple's price for the 16GB version of the Wi-Fi only iPad is £429 (including VAT) while the 32GB version is £499 and 64GB is £599. For the Wi-Fi and 3G version of the iPad, the 16GB device will be £529 (including VAT), the 32GB device £599 and the largest 64GB Wi-Fi and 3G iPad will be £699.

O2, Orange and Vodafone will all be offering mobile data plans for UK consumers who buy the 3G-enabled iPad, but details have yet to be released.

Source: Guardian Technology

Speaking of Blackberries… (and they don't often get a mention on this blog)

I loved this animation concept for Blackberry 6 (well it helps that it's set to one of my fave toons. Thanks for alerting me to it, Avishay

BlackBerry to launch tablet codenamed BlackPad?

With the iPad having one hell of a successful run in the market, it would be a logical decision for most smartphone manufacturers to start working on future devices based on a similar form factor and functionality. According to an article on BBleaks, Canadian corporate handset maker Research In Motion (RIM), better known for their BlackBerry range of handsets is also contemplating bringing out such a device and it may happen as soon as by 2012.

Internally codenamed "BlackPad", or "Cobalt", depending on which source to trust, this tablet would be thinner and smaller than the iPad and will run the BlackBerry OS modified for the device to take advantage of its unique features. It is rumored to include an 8.9-inch touchscreen display. The device is rumored to get launched in WES 2011, so if you liked the iPad concept, but still love the BlackBerry, then you better hold on to your cash, until some concrete evidence comes forth real soon.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The making of the ad that everyone's talking about and...

...Stewart Who's brilliant take on it:

Everyone’s banging on about the £6m advert for John Lewis, which seems to be bringing tears to the collectively careworn eyes of Broken Britain. It was the first ad, in the first break of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV1 last Saturday. People were transfixed by its slick smoothness, aspirational qualities, haunting yet beautiful soundtrack…and the fact that it wasn’t chanting ‘WE BUY ANY CAR’ to a cod techno beat. People started Twittering about it right away, then before you know it, 130,000 people had viewed it on YouTube, with almost everybody (men included) confessing to massive sob-athons. Never knowingly undersold, indeed.

Granted, the 90-second advert, created by agency Adam & Eve is a beautifully crafted mini-epic featuring a woman going through stages of her life with a variety of John Lewis products. Yes, it’s rendered all the more poignant by the use of Billy Joel’s stunning song, Always a Woman, sung by the rather marvellous Fyfe Dangerfield. True, the advert shows a long, fulfilling life, blessed with family harmony. It must be noted at this juncture, that this is a fantasy life, cleansed of all the texture. No binge drinking, no drug taking, no low-self-esteem-ill-advised-sex-years and no illness, crippling poverty or death. And what kind of a life would that be, eh? Well, how would we know?

It should have ended with their gravestones, really, but John Lewis doesn’t do funeral services, so that may have proved a downer but with no commercial uplift. Sorry, there’s no need to be rancidly cynical. It IS superb, it DOES piss all over M&S and it boasts that all important viral fan club aspect. However, it might be possible that everyone’s weeping during this advert ‘cause the entire country is clinging onto their sanity, skirting the dark pools of depression like terrified sparrows, afraid of falling into the abyss. All it takes is a slightly sentimental scratch on our thin veneer of stability and we’re howling into the wind. Just a thought. Oh, and one YouTube commenter (robertwhitley12) put the hoo-ha into perspective when he observed: i thought it was great up to the point where i realised it's just the hovis advert with an old woman and no bread :(

A new dating site for Apple fans (and surprisingly it's not called iDate)

It's called "Cupidtino ' and it's launching next month in a bid to help Machearts find that special someone - exclusively on Apple platforms, of course.

"Cupidtino is a beautiful new dating site created for fans of Apple products by fans of Apple products! Why? Diehard Mac & Apple fans often have a lot in common – personalities, creative professions, a similar sense of style and aesthetics, and of course a love for technology. We believe these are enough reasons for two people to meet and fall in love, and so we created the first Mac-inspired dating site to help you find love"

Now they're calling it a 'beautiful' product, yet that awful horizontal scaling on the heading text on the homepage is really uneasy on my eye… If they want to appeal to us Apple geeks with our detailed eye for design they are going to have to sort that one out…

If you like the idea you can sign up for Cupidtino's beta here.

Photo by kkilometer on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Star Wars™ voices now available for TomTom devices

Lord Vader commands you to turn to the Dark Side. Will you be able to resist as he guides you to your destination? Obi-Wan has taught you well but now it is time to choose your path. Light sabers at the ready!

Buy the voice here.

Source: The Cool Hunter

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wired magazine has a "scratch off" cover for its June issue that aims to test the will-power of its readers.

Wired, one of my favourite trends/ technology mags, is challenging its UK readers this month to resist scratching off the ink on the cover as part of a "trust experiment" it is running.

The cover ties in with a piece inside about the "trust economy", which analyses peer-to-peer lending (lending without the involvement of a traditional financial institution) and how it is financing new start-ups and challenging the domination of banks.

There are special "scratch off" varnish panels over cover lines which hide key words. One example is the cover line "World Cup winner revealed: XXXXXXX".

Underneath the varnish there is not a team name but the words "by data". It directs the reader to a feature on how data can help with World Cup predictions.

The editor of Wired, David Rowan, said: "Wired is of course all about new and innovative ideas as a means of engaging with our readers. We offer brain food, elegantly presented, and in a spirit of fun – in doing so, we hope to challenge, enthuse and inspire."

The issue is out this Thursday 6th May.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rob Ryan's enchanting work... discovered at Pick Me Up

I had a fantastic time at Pick Me Up, the first ever contemporary graphic art fair at Somerset House. Thanks for alerting me to it, Danielle !

My favourite work by far was by the London-based paper cut-out artist / printmaker, Rob Ryan. The simple and straight forward subjects of Ryan's work are in marked contrast to the deceptively sophisticated manner in which they are made; painstakingly hand-cut with fine scalpels from the most delicate of papers. Ryan then sells them as papercut form or develops them as screen prints.

His works have an ornate and detailed physical structure, and a lacy and delicate emotional centre within the pieces. I also love the typography within many of his works - it has a real purity to it, which is utterly appropriate for his simple but heartfelt messages.

I have added his blog to my Site Love list